Acclaimed comedian Louis C.K. has joined the ranks of major stars accused of sexual misconduct.
The stand-up comedian, writer, and producer’s name has circulated for years online as a performer rumored to have exceeded the boundaries of appropriate behavior with women in the past. But now The New York Times has published a detailed report interviewing five women from the comedy world who are formally accusing the film and TV star of engaging in a specific improper act — namely, masturbating or requesting to masturbate in front of female colleagues.
The accusers detailed in the Times are:
— Two Chicago comics, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, who say Louis C.K. got naked and started masturbating after inviting them to his hotel room in 2002.
— Abby Schachner, who says she had a phone call with the comic in 2003 and could hear him masturbating. She says that in 2009, he wrote her a message apologizing for his behavior, noting, “Last time I talked to you ended in a sordid fashion … That was a bad time in my life and I’m sorry.”
— Comic Rebecca Corry said that while working with the comic on a TV pilot in 2005, he asked if he could masturbate in front of her and she refused. She also received an apology, in 2015, with Louis C.K. saying he owed her a “very very very late apology” and that “I used to misread people back then.”
— Another woman, who did not reveal her name, who says Louis C.K. repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate when working on a project together in the late ’90s.
The star’s publicist tells EW, “In the coming days, Louis will issue a written statement.” The comedian canceled an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
The Thursday night premiere of Louis C.K.’s new movie I Love You, Daddy was also abruptly canceled by the film’s production company The Orchard, which released this statement to EW: “In light of the allegations concerning Louis C.K. referenced in today’s New York Times, we are cancelling tonight’s premiere of I Love You, Daddy. There is never a place for the behavior detailed in these allegations. As a result, we are giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film and continuing to review the situation.”
I Love You, Daddy is particularly notable as there’s a character who pretends to masturbate at length in front of other people. Masturbation jokes and self-deprecating sex life candor have long been a regular part of Louis C.K.’s stand-up.
HBO released a statement regarding the comic, who starred in their short-lived series, Lucky Louie: “Louis C.K. will no longer be participating in the ‘Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs,’ which will be presented live on HBO on November 18. In addition, HBO is removing Louis C.K.’s past projects from its On Demand services.”
FX, which aired the comedian’s series Louie and his co-produced series Baskets and Better Things, released this statement: “We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today. The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our 5 shows produced together over the past 8 years. FX Networks and FXP take all necessary actions to protect our employees and thoroughly investigate any allegations of misconduct within our workplace. That said, the matter is currently under review.”
EW has also reached out for comment to Netflix (which airs his stand-up specials) but has not yet received any on-th